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Re: HTML or XHTML - why do you use it?

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2003 19:58:39 -0500
Message-Id: <200301070058.TAA12900@nerd-xing.mit.edu>
To: "Peter Foti (PeterF)" <PeterF@SystolicNetworks.com>
cc: "'Ian Hickson'" <ian@hixie.ch>, "'Nick Boalch'" <nick@fof.durge.org>, "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>

> <Ian>
>  * If a user saves an XHTML-as-text/html document to disk and later
>    reopens it locally, triggering the content type sniffing code since
>    filesystems typically do not include file type information, the
>    document could be reopened as XML, potentially resulting in
>    validation errors, parsing differences, or styling differences.
> </Ian>
> It depends on what application the user has associated with the file
> extension, does it not?  If the user saves the file with a .htm extension,
> then his/her HTML User Agent will most likely be the one to open the file.  

Extension?  What extension?  On Windows, perhaps, but not on other OSes.  Magic
number detection is a lot more likely on Unix, eg (especially since there is
really no good reason to give the file a ".htm" extension when saving it, since
almost all software I know of will deal with a filename without an extension
(again, on Unix)).

This is a real and serious problem and is the only reason Mozilla detects local
XHTML as HTML, not XML (quite unreliabley, I must add, in addition this problem
forces misdetection of the content type for XSLT stylesheets which contain HTML
in them).  I would dearly love to be able to flip on XML detection for XHTML
and can't because of the way it's authored (the way that Ian's article is
directed against).

Ray's Rule of Precision:
   Measure with a micrometer.  Mark with chalk.  Cut
with an axe.
Received on Monday, 6 January 2003 20:03:38 UTC

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